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Endogenous Social Preferences

  • Jeffrey P. Carpenter

    (Department of Economics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA,

A long-standing discussion in economics asks whether institutions affect people’s social predispositions. The current experiment tests whether different aspects of markets affect people’s social preferences. The results are that people are less socially minded in more anonymous settings. Additionally, market competition erodes social preferences through two mechanisms. First, market competition encourages opportunistic behavior, and second, the market institution itself decreases the other-regardingness of the participants.

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Article provided by Union for Radical Political Economics in its journal Review of Radical Political Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 63-84

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Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:37:y:2005:i:1:p:63-84
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Schotter, A. & Weiss, A. & Zapater, I., 1993. "Fairness and Survival in Ultimatum and Dictatorship Games," Working Papers 93-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  4. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
  5. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2002. "Information, fairness, and reciprocity in the best shot game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 243-248, April.
  6. Glenn W. Harrison & Jack Hirshleifer, 1988. "An Experimental Evaluation of Weakest-Link/Best Shot Models of Public Goods," UCLA Economics Working Papers 473, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  8. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin A & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "On Expectations and the Monetary Stakes in Ultimatum Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 289-301.
  9. James Andreoni, 2001. "Giving According to GARP," Theory workshop papers 339, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-45, July.
  11. Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr, 2003. "Measuring social norms and preferences using experimental games: A guide for social scientists," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000501, David K. Levine.
  12. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
  13. Hirschman, Albert O, 1982. "Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1463-84, December.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:3:p:865-88 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  16. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  17. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2003. "Is fairness used instrumentally? Evidence from sequential bargaining," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 467-489, August.
  18. Neil Buckley & Kenneth S. Chan & James Chowhan & Stuart Mestelman & Mohamed Shehata, 2000. "Value Orientations, Income and Displacement Effects, and Voluntary Contributions," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-03, McMaster University.
  19. V. Prasnikar & A. Roth, 1998. "Considerations of fairness and strategy: experimental data from sequential games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 451, David K. Levine.
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